An international meeting of foreign ministers gets underway in Austria aimed at finding a political solution to Syria's civil war. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France and Germany arrived on Friday (October 30) for talks in Vienna aimed at finding a political solution to Syria's four-year-old civil war. The talks are the first high-level discussions for which Washington's allies dropped their objections to including Iran. Rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia are among the countries taking part in the summit. The French Foreign Minister reiterated the country's position on the conflict. Laurent Fabius called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. He said the fight against Islamic State militants and other extremist groups operating in the country must go on. On Thursday, the United States said it was hoping to hear from Iran, and Syria's other main ally, Russia, on whether they would be ready to abandon Assad , whom Washington and its European and Arab allies blame for years of bloodshed. Iranian and Russian officials have repeatedly said the priority for Syria should be the defeat of Islamic State militants, who have seized large areas of Syria and Iraq. The divide between Russia and Iran and Western and Arab nations seeking Assad's ouster has deepened since Moscow began air strikes against opposition forces in Syria a month ago.